Sahil Gupta

Leaders-from-Retail-in-India-2023 logo

Leading Helios Shoe Care into the Future of Footwear Retail

Sahil Gupta

Director,

Helios Shoe Care

The consumer goods industry is a volatile one and here, every step is a stride toward success. With a history steeped in experience and a portfolio adorned with skills spanning customer service, sales, strategic planning, and marketing strategy, Sahil Gupta, CEO, Helios Shoe Care, stands as a testament to unwavering dedication and visionary leadership.
Sahil embarked on this remarkable journey in 2011, stepping into the business that was initially crafted by his father, Rakesh Gupta, back in 2000. Upon his entry, Sahil’s mission was crystal clear: expand the horizons of sales, reaching the uncharted territories that were yet untouched. He meticulously devised sales strategies and expanded the sales force, breathing new life into the business.
But Sahil’s ambitions knew no bounds. He set his sights on the global stage, determined to make Helios Shoe Care a brand recognised far beyond borders. Today, the brand proudly exports its products to eight countries, including the UAE, Canada, Nepal, Bangladesh, and more. Recognising the importance of being not just a retailer’s brand but a customer’s brand, Sahil orchestrated a pivotal move. In 2017, when D2C was still in its infancy, Helios Shoe Care launched its official website, carving a path toward direct customer engagement and brand loyalty. In a nod to their relentless pursuit of excellence, Helios Shoe Care was bestowed with the prestigious “Emerging Brand of the Year” award in 2015.
As we delve into Sahil’s journey, we find a narrative defined by resilience, innovation, and an unyielding passion for progress. Join us in uncovering the tale of a visionary leader who has not only propelled his family business to new heights but has also transformed it into a globally recognised brand, all while staying ahead of industry trends and carving a unique path to success. 

Could you summarize your current role and its impact on the organisation's success?

As Helios’ CEO, I play a pivotal role in our operations, overseeing both strategic and dayto-day aspects. I lead our team in setting and achieving long-term objectives in line with market trends. Additionally, I manage our extensive factory, focusing on enhancing production efficiency and quality control. I am also responsible for driving sales strategies, expanding our market reach through efficient distribution channels. Cultivating a collaborative work environment is a priority, as it is crucial for our brand’s success. Finally, I champion innovation to keep us at the forefront of industry trends.

What challenges do you encounter in your current role, and how do you use your prior experience to address them effectively?

Our company’s incredible 23-year journey, led by both my father and me, has been marked by unique challenges, especially in its early days. My father’s determination to take Helios from 0 to 1 showcases the immense hurdles he overcame. During my time, the landscape introduced new challenges, notably heightened competition and multifaceted demands. However, my approach remains steadfast – innovation. We embraced novelty early on, taking the bold steps of venturing into e-Commerce and launching a brand app, even back in 2017 when it wasn’t the norm for a shoe care brand. Drawing from our collective experience, we continually explore uncharted paths, ensuring that Helios retains its pioneering spirit and resilience in the face of industry changes.

With the growing popularity of e-Commerce, how do you embrace AI, ML and robotic technologies to enhance the customer experience?

Amid the burgeoning e-Commerce landscape, our strategic utilisation of AI and ML technologies within Helios underscores our commitment to elevating the customer experience. These cognitive technologies are adeptly employed to decode consumer behaviours, affording us the ability to curate bespoke product suggestions and facilitate an inherently intuitive shopping experience. While our current technological focus pivots predominantly around AI and ML, we harbour ambitions to foray into the realm of robotics, proactively envisioning an evolution that will inject heightened operational efficacy. This amalgamation of cutting-edge technologies serves as a testament to our unwavering dedication to engendering an avant-garde, seamless, and intelligent retail epoch, harmonizing innovation with consumer gratification.

How does Helios ensure a smooth shopping experience by seamlessly blending online and offline channels in omnichannel retailing?

Helios approaches omnichannel retailing with a meticulous strategy that harmonises virtual and physical realms, fostering a cohesive and convenient shopping milieu for our diverse clientele. Our extensive presence spanning 8 countries and 15000 stores, facilitated by a robust network of 500 odd distributors across India, underscores our commitment to accessibility and customer-centricity. Our omnichannel endeavour is underpinned by a synchronised inventory system, which empowers customers to seamlessly explore and purchase across digital platforms and brick-and-mortar outlets. The synergistic integration of online and offline channels culminates in a unified shopping experience, allowing customers to effortlessly switch between touchpoints, thereby accommodating their preferences and augmenting convenience.

What's your industry's future outlook? Any notable emerging trends or developments that catch your attention?

The future outlook for our industry is exceptionally promising. The burgeoning engagement with fashion is translating to heightened demand for footwear. Notably, our recent expansion into the foot care segment and sneaker grooming aligns with the evolving industry, positioning us at the cusp of this huge market demand. Moreover, an increasingly informed consumer base recognises the imperative of proper shoe care. A discernible shift from makeshift hacks towards adopting dedicated shoe grooming practices is a pivotal area of growth. This shift resonates with our commitment to elevating the shoe care experience. In essence, this intersection collectively promises an assuring path forward for Helios within the dynamic landscape of the footwear industry.

What are your personal and professional growth plans? Do you have specific goals or aspirations for the future?

In the forthcoming years, my growth trajectory centers on a comprehensive evolution encompassing both personal and professional domains. Professionally, my commitment remains steadfast in propelling Helios to greater prominence. I am dedicated to fostering innovation through strategic initiatives, leveraging emerging technologies, and expanding our global presence. Moreover, I am resolute in nurturing a leadership approach that amalgamates tradition with modernity, sustaining our brand’s legacy while embracing industry evolution. Simultaneously, my personal growth is intertwined with refining communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills. I aim to foster an inclusive and innovative work environment while continuing to learn from emerging trends and best practices. Balancing this, I seek to cultivate a harmony between professional pursuits and personal well-being, driven by a resilient ethos. This fusion of dynamic professional ambition and personal fulfilment underscores my trajectory for growth, ensuring that I remain adaptable, visionary, and impactful both as a leader and an individual.







     







       







         







           







             







               







                 







                   







                     







                       







                         







                           







                             







                               







                                 

                                Error: Contact form not found.